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December 7, 2016

Microsoft gets EU green light for $26bn LinkedIn acquisition

PC makers are given a choice over inclusion of Windows LinkedIn application.

By CBR Staff Writer

Technology giant Microsoft has received approval from the European Commission for its mega acquisition of LinkedIn for $26bn.

Microsoft said that it has now obtained all of the regulatory approvals required to close the acquisition.

As part of the approval, the company has made some commitments regarding its support for third-party professional social networking services.

Microsoft will continue to offer its Office Add-in programme to third-party professional social networking services.

The programme allows developers to integrate their services into Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel.

Microsoft will also continue to make promotional opportunities in the Office Store available to third-party professional social networking services.

The commitments made by the company in order to gain approval include enabling IT administrators and users to customise their Office experience by choosing whether to display in the user interface the LinkedIn profile.

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PC manufacturers will also be given a choice to install LinkedIn application or a tile for Windows PCs developed by Microsoft on their Windows PCs in the European Economic Area (EEA).

It said: “Similarly, we’ll ensure that users can uninstall the application and tile if they wish.

“We also won’t use Windows itself to prompt users to install a LinkedIn application, although it can remain available in the Windows Store and be promoted in other ways.”

Microsoft has also committed to not entering into agreements with PC manufacturers in the EEA for pre-installation of a Windows LinkedIn application that would favor LinkedIn on an exclusive basis.

The company said: “With this regulatory process behind us, we can bring together two great companies and focus on even broader issues for the future. The events of the past six months make not just this business opportunity, but the broader societal issues connected to them, more important.”

In November, Microsoft was ready to give concessions to LinkedIn’s rivals and hardware makers in a bid to gain EU approval for the acquisition of professional networking site, Reuters reported.

Salesforce, who lost in its LinkedIn bid to Microsoft, had called on EU regulators to investigate Microsoft’s acquisition of the social media giant, citing antitrust issues.

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